By Murray Bishoff
A number of positions remain vacant in the final days of filings for the April 3 election. Candidates have emerged for most positions, creating several contests.
Filings close at 5 p.m. on Jan. 17.
No additional candidates have filed for the Monett R-1 Board of Education after the first day. Two-term incumbent Dr. J.D. Roberts and Monett pharmacist James "A.J." Bahl, a first-time candidate, are the only candidates. The second open seat is presently held by two-term incumbent Mark Coatney, who has not refiled.
Candidates have come forward for all the city council seats in Pierce City without contests developing. So far, one-term incumbent Allan Stockton is the only person running for mayor.
John Archer has filed for a fourth term as Ward 1 alderman. Cory Sooter will seek the Ward 4 alderman's seat, a job he has held for nine years.
Filing on the first day were two-term incumbent Scott Wahl in Ward 2 and Dana Stanphill in Ward 3, who won a one-year term a year ago.
Filing for re-election to the Pierce City R-6 Board of Education are Fred Slagle, seeking a fourth term, and Mike Zebert, running for a second term. Also running is two-term incumbent Michael Blinzler, who filed on the first day in a bid to win back the seat he held six years ago.
A contest has emerged for the Ward 1 alderman's job in Purdy. Sean Priest, who ran last year, has filed to run against former alderman Ron Gray, who ran for mayor a year ago. The seat is currently held by Rex Coffe, who has not refiled.
Ken Real, who has represented Ward 2 for two terms, has filed for re-election.
Incumbents have both filed for the two open seats on the Purdy R-2 Board of Education. Current board president Randy Henderson is running for a fourth term. Ken Terry is running for a second term.
One incumbent has filed for the Verona City Council. George Strawn has filed for a second term. The other seat is presently held by Barbara Allen, who is completing a one-year term.
Two candidates have now filed for the Verona R-7 Board of Education. Board president Donnie Craft has filed for a ninth term. Jeff Hillhouse, a first-time candidate, has filed as well. Three-term incumbent Gary Wolf presently holds the second seat, and he has not refiled.
No candidates have yet filed for the two open seats on the Freistatt Board of Trustees. Mayor Mike Ortwein has announced he did not plan to run this year. The other seat is currently held by one-term incumbent Ryan Buchmueller.
No one has filed for the two seats on the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District. Positions are currently held by Rick Vanderpool in District 1, covering Capps Creek, Kings Prairie, McDowell and rural Monett townships. Vanderpool has served for one term in District 1 and 13 years representing District 2.
District 4, which includes the Barry County portion of Monett east of Central and south of Highway 60, has been represented by Marty Newman since 2000.